I found myself stumbling through the streets of Pittsburgh, PA recently and had a
surprisingly good time. I say “surprisingly” because PBurgh isn’t the sort of place one might normally choose as a holiday destination. But it is one of those places that, once you have a good reason for going there (like business, a convention, escaping the law,) you are glad you did.
I was asked by the fine folks who run Toonseum – a cartoon art museum inside the Children’s Museum – to emcee a thing called Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School. The group started in Brooklyn, but now has dozens of satellite orgs all over the planet. What happens is that burlesque-style performers and models do a song or dance for a few minutes, then freeze in poses for various lengths of time while audience members draw them. As MC, I vamped and entertained in between poses and drew funny funny cartoons on a big pad of paper. As if that weren’t enough fun, there were also prizes, beer, pie, and shenanigans of all sorts.
The theme was Piraro, Pie, Pirates, Pi and Pittsburgh. It was March 14th (3.14 is both the date and the math thing), I put pieces of pie in my cartoons almost daily, I have a book of pirate cartoons coming out in a few months, and the names of both the city and myself start with the letters “p,i”. What more do you need for a theme?
Here’s your MC for the evening, dressed in some
semi-piratey gear. I dress this way fairly often,
but it was nice to have a legitimate excuse for once.
The non-stop goofy goings-on on stage looked something like this. If you’re wondering if the evening included monkey business, the answer is yes.
This is a crazy artist dude who lived in the artist-loft-studio-former-brewery-dilapidated-warehouse place where the event took place. I think his name is Ray, but I can’t be certain. I was distracted by his hat. That’s some of his work behind us.
Lastly, I must share this amazing sculpture at the children’s museum. It is made of plastic pieces from old gas station signs. As you can see from the closeup, they are sort of stitched together with wire. The whole thing has a stained glass look resulting from the translucency of the plastic. It’s dandy as hell, I tell you.
Thanks for sharing my fun time in Pittsburgh with me. I hope you enjoyed it and will savor the memory for the rest of your life.